For Immediate Release
May 31, 2011
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Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced that he accepted the Mattapan Square Main Streets Nominating Committee’s recommendations for the inaugural Mattapan Square Main Streets Board of Directors. This announcement comes after the Mayor’s announcement that the Boston Main Streets program would expand to Mattapan Square, making it the nationally renowned program’s twentieth designated neighborhood commercial district in Boston.
The Mattapan Square Main Streets Board of Directors will subsequently hire an executive director, set up an office, apply for non-profit status and ultimately be tasked with strengthening business development, boosting job creation, facilitating storefront improvements, promoting a vibrant neighborhood commercial district, and increasing services and the overall quality of life in the district.
The 15-member Board of Directors includes Muhammad Ali-Salaam, Jeff Brewster, Donald Caisey, Jim Clark, Marlena Diaz, Sharice Holmes, Keyla Jackson, Brian McPherson, Virginia Parks, Yvette Phillip, Nancy Rousseau, Lillie Searcy, Victor Thomas, Chris Yarde, and Dr. Azzie Young.
“This new board is made up of merchants, residents, and non-profits that share a common vision and desire to improve their commercial district—an essential ingredient for success,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “I’m grateful to the neighborhood leaders with whom we have worked very hard for a long time to get this done. It is their deep commitment to this community that will make Mattapan Square Main Streets a terrific success.”
The Department of Neighborhood Development’s Office of Business Development, which coordinates all Boston Main Streets districts, will provide the new district with access to City programs, services, and resources. Mattapan Square Main Streets joins the current Boston Main Streets family of nineteen neighborhood commercial districts in delivering on the National Main Streets 4-point approach to vitality: Design, Organization, Promotion and Economic Restructuring.
In response to a longtime desire on the part of the community for economic development opportunities, the Department of Neighborhood Development issued a Request for Proposals for a Mattapan Square Main Streets district last year. Final designation was granted in November of 2011.
In 1995, Mayor Menino created a partnership between the City of Boston and the National Trust for Historic Preservation; the Boston Main Streets initiative was the first urban, multi-district Main Streets program in the nation. Named by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change as one of 19 “Solutions for America,” Boston Main Streets strives to empower individuals in the small business sector to have a direct role in the economic health, physical appearance, and development of their community.
In 2005, Mayor Menino created the Boston Main Streets Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to produce significant advances in business development, jobs creation, storefront improvements, and overall quality of life in Boston’s neighborhood commercial districts.
Today, Boston Main Streets provides funding and technical assistance to 20 neighborhood-based Main Streets districts throughout the City of Boston and has served as a national model to urban areas seeking to revitalize neighborhood commercial districts including Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Detroit, and New Orleans.